jolie laide

jolie laide

I started this when I lived in Brooklyn and struggled for grace in a city that grants moments of beauty and ugliness breathtakingly close to one another. Now I live in a place where things are a different kind of ugly and the beauty is pedestrian. I struggle with that.


I leave for California at dusk on Thursday, the plane departing Kennedy just as the lights are picking themselves out against the thick air. We chase the setting sun west, slipping just a bit behind as the hours tick past, the light at the horizon of clouds compressing until it is only an orange line. That finally slips away over Colorado, and the horn of Utah is just inky night, undisturbed by the lights of domestication.

I look down into that blackness and wonder, if the plane went down in flames, how it would flash through the sky, if anyone would see, if rescue could happen in that remoteness. The man next to me is on his second huge foam cup of Dunkin Donuts coffee and it is working him, his leg is marching in place, his jaws ferociously masticating some poor piece of gum, rolling and pitching it like a bull tosses a rodeo rider. If the plane broke up, he would be the last person I see. In that moment, in the fading of my life, would I think he is the most beautiful, the most precious thing, would the imperfection of his humanity leave me awed and humbled? It might be easier if I could forgive him the grotesque, invasive sweet smell of the gum he is champing. I should probably work on that one first.


Blogger slickaphonic said...

welcome to california, dear

7:14 PM  
Blogger VelVerb said...

May you fly safely and yet still find the beauty in the ugly. As you always do.

11:40 PM  
Blogger ttractor said...

aw, thanks, gang. I've at least one more coast-to-coast to make before settling down for a spell. I am starting to get a bit excited about missing all of winter, the most dreaded of all seasons.

2:57 PM  

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